Saturday, January 26, 2013

Namja Town Part 2; Ikebukero, Tokyo

When Mom and cousin were in for the holidays, we brought them to Namja Town to enjoy Ice Cream City, Desert Kingdom and Gyoza Stadium.  For a rundown of a previous Namja Town trip, please see my post here

We ended going on the day before New Year's Eve.  To our delight, it wasn't overly crowded.  We commandered a table and ordered our gyoza from the Gyoza Stadium and... waited a real long time.  In somewhat typical Japanese fashion, the folks at each of the gyoza stands are not running things in the most efficient manner.  Each stand has maybe two-three workers, one taking orders and well, the other two, cooking batches of gyoza- one at a time.  As a result, each stand takes 20 minutes or so to make their gyoza.  So if a typical family wants to try gyoza from 3 different stands, it will probably take an hour.  These folks have to realize that faster gyoza cooking means more gyoza sold.  It's just simple economics.  I saw numerous occasions where people looked at a long line and decided not to order.  Oh well...  McDonalds can't teach efficiency to everyone.

So this time, we got lots of gyoza.  A warning here, the gyoza at Gyoza Stadium are not cheap.  The food below cost us at least 4,500 yen (about 50 dollars).  Not cheap and not really enough to make us full.  But it is fun and when family is in, fun takes priority over value (and patience waiting).

So here are the gyoza we got:

Chick gyoza- these were your standard pork filling gyoza but were shaped like little chickies.  Pretty standard, but fun to eat.

Piggy gyoza- Pretty disappointing.  These guys were 5 bucks for 2, so the 4 above cost us about 10 bucks (800 yen).  The taste wasn't so bad, standard pork filling, but they aren't a fraction as cute as the picture on the menu.  It looks as if the workers haphazardly threw the piggy parts on these guys.  Give me my 10 bucks and 20 minutes back!
Juicy gyoza- These guys are shaped in way that holds in the juices, like little pots.  Pork filling here, but nice and juicy.  These guys were winners.
Steel pan gyoza- Yummy, yummy, yummy!!!  These little guys are packed in a tiny steel pan and fried until they are crispy on the bottom.  Pork as usual, but chockful of garlic.  Lovers stay away, but these guys are super yummy.
Maruman gyoza!!!  Read about them in my previous Namja Town post.  Yummy bread-like pockets of pork.  Good as they are, White Gyoza is better and much cheaper. 
Last but not least, pepper cheese gyoza-  there guys were the champions of the group.  Everyone liked these guys the best.  Cheese and pepper are so untypical when one has gyoza.  The cheese wasn't too heavy and the pepper wasn't too spicy.  As I type, I want them oh so much!!!  Thanks for reading and please go to Namja Town!!!

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